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Devon & Cornwall covid cases up 50 per cent

Sunday, September 13th, 2020 10:41am

By Daniel Clark, local democracy reporter

122 new Devon cases confirmed this week

The number of coronavirus cases confirmed in the last seven days has risen by 50 per cent across Devon and Cornwall.

One hundred and twenty-two new cases have been confirmed in Devon in tests carried out by the NHS and by commercial partners, compared to 96 new cases confirmed last week. Most, 71, were in the Devon County Council area, which excludes Torbay, which had 12 cases, and Plymouth, which had 39, down one from last week.

Cases confirmed across Cornwall and Devon County Council areas have doubled, in Torbay tripled, but in Plymouth, they have fallen, with 39 cases compared to the 40 last week.

Of the new Devon County Council area cases, 18 were in East Devon, 17 in Exeter, four in Mid Devon, eight in North Devon, seven in the South Hams, nine in Teignbridge, six in Torridge, and two in West Devon.

There is a cluster of four cases in Clyst, Exton and Lympstone, and in Cranbrook, Broadclyst and Stoke Canon, in East Devon, three cases in Wonford and St Loyes, and Pennsylvania and University, in Exeter, a cluster of three Bishop’s Nympton, Witheridge & Chulmleigh in North Devon, and four cases in Wellswood and Churston and Galmpton in Torbay.

Plymouth currently has four clusters, all of three cases, in Cattedown and Prince Rock, Mutley, Plymstock Hooe and Oreston, and Honicknowle and Manadon. Clusters in Dartington and Loddiswell, and Ivybridge, in the South Hams, Bradninch, Silverton and Thorverton, Chudleigh and Bovey Tracey, Plympton Underwood, North Prospect and Mannamead and Hartley have dropped off the map in the last week.

And while the number of cases being confirmed still remains relatively low, not all of the new cases are linked to returning international travellers, which has been the pattern previously.

Dr Virginia Pearson, director of public health Devon and chair of the multi-agency covid-19 health protection board, said: “Although Devon’s rates have been comparatively low so far, we cannot be complacent. Just like the rest of the country, we have seen a significant rise in the number of confirmed cases in September. Not all new cases are now linked to returning international travellers, which was the pattern we had seen recently. We must remember that coronavirus is still a very real threat to us all, especially to our older and vulnerable residents.

“It’s very easy, with the relaxation of restrictions we’ve had over recent months- the call for people to return to work and to support our high streets; our children returning to schools, colleges and soon to Universities – to believe that life is back to normal. It is not back to normal.  The virus is still here and it is very easy to get infected, especially indoors.  I am therefore urging all Devon residents, of all ages, but specifically to our younger residents who perhaps do not feel the risk felt by older and more vulnerable residents, to follow the public health advice at all times.

“We are continuing to monitor the data very closely so that we can react immediately to situations as they arise.  But we also need you, the Devon public, to carry on doing your bit to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading in our county this autumn.”

However, despite the rise in cases across the region from previous figures, the number of people in hospital with coronavirus has continued to remain relatively low. The R Rate for the wider South West region is now estimated as between 0.9 and 1.2, up from 0.8 – 1.1 last week. 

In total, Torridge has had 64 positive cases, West Devon 78, with 123 in the South Hams, 143 in North Devon, 235 in Mid Devon, 238 in Teignbridge, 274 in East Devon, 291 in Exeter, 318 in Torbay, 793 in Plymouth and 1026 in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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